October 14, 2011
I’ve been in need of some color. Lucky for me autumn’s colors are peaking here on the NY/ Vermont border.
I took a drive, then collected some leaves, wanting to capture the last hurrah of the growing season.
There are a couple of ways that I do nature printing. One way is to use pigment stamp pads. I like these Petal Point sets because it is easy to use different colors on the same leaf.
I lay out my leaf with the front of the leaf face down, so that it’s the underside of the leaf that I ink it up. I generally use a blend of colors….
…then lay the leaf, inked side down, on my paper, and cover with some wax paper. Wth my finger tips, I press firmly down all over the leaf. Pressing too hard or too lightly compromises good results, but it’s easy to get the feel for the right amount of pressure to use.
The leaf on the bottom left is a small burdock leaf. The feathery ones are from our asparagus patch. A raspberry leaf is falling off to the right. The fancy leaf is an invasive, tall, beautiful garden plant whose name I forget right now. What all of these leaves have in common is that they have a good bit of dimension. Leaves that are too flat, like clover leaves, just don’t make good prints.
Here’s a burdock leaf again. Leaves can be used numerous times before they get too flat or too fragile. Usually, the first print from a leaf doesn’t turn out well for me. So don’t be discouraged if you try this and your first try isn’t great.
For me, the best part about nature printing is that when I am choosing the plants to pluck I have to look really closely at what’s growing around me. It’s a fun thing to do in cities, too, as it’s fairly incredible to realize all that can be gathered in a decidedly paved over environment.
I think I am going to have to stroll around again tomorrow, before all of this disappears.